Broken mailboxes leave OCH residents without mail – Ottawa

An Ottawa Community Housing resident is upset mail isn’t being delivered to him because his mailbox is broken.

Bourhan Ahmed, who lives in a rooming house on Cumberland Street near the ByWard Market, said he has to make an hour-long journey to a Canada Post office on Riverside Drive to retrieve his mail because the landlord hasn’t repaired the set of mailboxes.

The mailboxes have been broken open and cannot be closed.

“I called [OCH] a couple times to fix this problem,” he said. “The [maintenance] guy came, he took the order number but he never came back.”

Bourhan Ahmed, 39, says he has contacted Ottawa Community Housing numerous times about the broken mailbox. (Idil Mussa/CBC)

Ahmed said the issue began in May, although in an email to CBC News, Canada Post spokesperson Darcia Kmet said they were notified on June 30 and officially suspended service in July.

A matter of safety

“Delivery to affected customers was interrupted on July 5 partly due to a safety concern related to the state of the mailbox panel on Cumberland Street. As an employer, we have the responsibility to ensure that our employees’ workplace is safe,” said Kmet.

Meanwhile, Ahmed said he last spoke to Ottawa Community Housing about the broken mailboxes three weeks ago and he’s shocked nothing has been done.

Canada Post says mail is being held for residents at their Riverside Drive office. (Idil Mussa/CBC)

“I have the right to receive my mail like everyone,” he said. “Sometimes we receive letters from the hospital. I’m a diabetic person. This is very important.”

Two Canada Post employees, who CBC news spoke to outside Ahmed’s building, said a letter carrier was injured delivering mail to the adjacent apartment, which is also managed by OCH.

They said the entire mailbox panel fell out of the wall and seriously injured the carrier. Canada Post would not provide any details on the matter, but Kmet did confirm “there was an incident involving the mailbox panel.”

Likely vandalism

Ottawa Community Housing CEO Stéphane Giguère said the mailbox panel was repaired in July but it was broken again.

“It was likely a situation of vandalism that happened and unfortunately that type of incident does happen quite often in public areas,” he said.

OCH normally responds to requests for repairs quickly, said Giguère but this time the process took much longer.

“It’s unfortunate and we acknowledge it.”

Giguère said a locksmith will be fixing…

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